There is this question but I am hoping for more general answers to why airships are not more commonplace.
The previous question does bring up the cost of production (mainly because of hi-tech fibers used in body construction) and the high capital costs for constructing hangars for these airships.
However, civilization did operate fleets of these before and I'm just not certain why they have not 'come back' in a meaningful way. For instance, here are just a few uses that I can think of off-hand:
- For tourism! Instead of a water-bourne cruise tourists can literally sail all over (I'd pay for that!)...
- As the previous question implied, they can be used to carry cargo vast distances (although I am unsure if there is any real economic advantage here).
I know we use them in a small way for various things (military, sports, etc) but why are they not more commonplace?
I imagine the answer is mere economics but at the same time I feel there should be a market if for nothing else than tourism.
No one has really touched on the possibility of a cruise ship style airship. We have mentioned brief aerial tours but I'm talking about a semi-luxury week long trip in one of these things over very remote areas such as Alaska or the Siberia or even a desert... I realise there would not be room for all the luxuries of a cruise ship (pool, casino, etc) but I image about the same luxuries as a small yacht...
I imagine there are a lot of issues with long trips but can airships make unimproved 'port calls'? IE can they just set down for a few hours to let the passengers stretch their legs?